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Related Post of My common app essay is over 500 words length; ..
I’m trying to shorten my common app essays right now, and finding it extremely hard. I feel like 500 is JUST short enough that my voice and best bits of writing get cut out because there’s certain technical information that I need to keep in to have the essay make sense. My main essay is around 660 words now, and although I can cut a few words here and there, I think it’s the best version. The 500 word version just didn’t sound like me anymore, so I think I’m going to risk the extra 150 words to get in my meaning.
Comparing it to my extended essay for the University of Chicago (706 words), my Common App essay is definitely not as well written, nor is it as creative. However, it does everything that it needs to do. Forcing myself to write a short essay was much harder than having free reign, but in the end, it demonstrates economy of language and forced me to carefully consider word choice and the effectiveness of what I was trying to say.
Apply to College with Common App | The Common Application
In , Matt Flegenheimer reports that the Common Application now asks that essays be between 250 and 500 words long. That upper limit was reimposed — after four years without one — amid feedback from admissions officers that essays had grown too long. But unlike other parts of the online application, which may cut off students midword , the essays are sent to colleges in full, and aren’t even labeled with word counts. Many seniors are pondering: to cut or not to cut?
My college counsellor told me that most admissions officers stop reading after about 500 words anyways (she used to read apps for U of Michigan). Although there was no word limit, I cut mine down from almost 800 words to 400 something words. It was the best thing I could have done to my essay. Even though the longer version later won two writing awards, the shorter one packed more of a punch and was more appropriate for the task at hand, no matter how “elegant” all those extra words might have been.
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My essay fluctuated between 800 and 650 while I was drafting and my final product was 630 words. It took a lot of effort and time to get it down to 498 words but it was worth it. There’s no random fluff stuck to the end of sentences. I had to make sure that every sentence was relevant and important. I know that what I wrote about I could have expanded for pages longer but I also know that was I wrote is an accurate representation of my personal thoughts and reflections, written in a concise, clear manner in my own voice. For the common application that’s what matters.
My Common App essay is one page and 647 words. My guidance counselor, teachers, parents, and classmates have read it and all have praised it without concern for length. Many of you mention UChicago essays; mine is 290 words and has received only positive feedback. Some essays take a lot, some do not.
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